West Fargo teacher facing 5 felony charges
West Fargo, ND - A former North Dakota Teacher of Year is facing 5 Felony charges for Corruption or Solicitation of a Minor that allegedly occurred in 2008 and 2009.
Aaron Knodel, 35, the 2014 North Dakota Teacher of the Year, has been on paid administrative leave since February 21st while an investigation took place. Court documents released Friday afternoon indicate that Knodel is accused of carrying on a sexual relationship with a 17 year-old student at West Fargo High School in 2008-09. The student was a Senior at West Fargo High School at the time of the relationship, and Knodel was her English teacher.
Court documents indicate that Knodel iniated the relationship by sending text messages to the student beginning in December of 2008. The student stated that the messages became more personal and sexually suggestive over time, with Knodel at one point stating he was planning on leaving his wife.
Knodel and the student allegedly had their first physical encounter in mid-February of 2009 when Knodel's wife was out of town. The student said that there were 5 to 10 further incidences of sexual contact with Knodel. Court documents indicate the relationship ended on March 9th, 2009 - Knodel's birthday - when the student sent a text message to Knodel. Knodel told the student his wife had seen the text message, and that the relationship needed to end.
Knodel is facing two Class B felonies and three Class C felonies.
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